I supposedly live in the desert. Normally my scenery includes sunshine, palm trees, sand-like dust and camels. During most of the year, I will dust my living room turn around and see new dust settle on everything before I leave the room. Pretty disheartening but I refuse to close the windows and suffocate.
Today, however, the world outside my apartment looks more like my husband’s western PA home than the Middle East. Several inches of snow has fallen over the last two days leaving everyone unsure of what to do with themselves. We watched as cars and trucks got stuck at the bottom of our hill trying to take a shortcut to the main road. No one told them not to take short cuts during a winter storm – especially one with a large hill. So we giggle as drivers get out of their vehicles confused and flabbergasted as they try to figure out what to do next.
As I contemplate this strange scene outside my window, I’m reminded of how often I take short cuts during the storms in my own life. I get distracted by some new book promising an amazing prayer life in so many days or lots of joy by doing or not doing these few things, forgetting that God never promised the easy or short road. No, most often we must take the long, winding, bumpy, treacherous road which doesn’t offer any certainty of safety. Prayer is beautiful, but a discipline. Meditating on Scripture adds life to our monotony, but a discipline. Worship brings joy, but a discipline. Sometimes, I simply don’t want to do practice these disciplines. Sometimes, life is crazy and all I want is for God to swoop down, fix everything and give me a piece of cake. I’m not saying we shouldn’t read all we can to improve ourselves and our walk with God, but looking for an easy road will simply leave us at the bottom of a snow and ice covered hill perplexed and frustrated. Sometimes, when life seems out of control, all we can do is keep plugging along on the disciplines God laid out for us, holding on with white knuckles and eyes squeezed shut while God guides us on his journey to knowing him more.